scoping Sydney markets

I love going to markets. We have a huge variety of markets in Sydney catering to all kinds of people- we have the trendy/alternative markets in Glebe, the gorgeous beachside markets of Bondi and Manly, yummy organic farmers markets in Rozelle and Marrickville and wonderful Artisans markets in Kirribilli. It's nice to be able to buy handmade Australian things and I believe we are starting to witness a trend in moving away from mass produced rubbish. I couldn't be happier about it as I'm hoping to have made enough things to have a market stall of my own up and running by the end of the year (gulp).

To suss out what's happening in the Sydney Market scene, I trawl my way through a wonderful resource, the Local Market Guide which as the name suggests is a one stop shop for information on upcoming markets in different categories (arts, crafts design, fresh produce etc) with links to websites, a noticeboard for stall holders and a blog with recipes and info from past events. I love this site! I'll never be bored on a weekend again!

On Sunday I went with some friends to the Sydney Boutique Markets in Castle Hill. They had a nice range of things for adults and kids but it was definitely slanted towards 'yummy mummys and their little ones'. This was good news for me as I took it as an opportunity to see what's out there and where my little sewn things might fit in.

Sometimes I find the process of going to markets and seeing all the kids and babies things a little disheartening as it seems like such a saturated market. I find myself wondering, is there a place for me and my things here? When I posed this question to Corrie from Retro Mummy at a market recently, she assured me that when it comes to markets, people come and go, making space for new stalls and fresh ideas all the time. This was comforting to know.

So I had a good look around the stalls at the Sydney Boutique Market taking note of stall set ups, names, branding, product lines and trends. Here are a few observations I made:
  • Almost every stall had gorgeous, lacy or crocheted hair accessores and hair bands a la 'Shabby Chic'
  • The best stalls had a small selection of wares spread out neatly and thoughtfully
  • Most of the items for kids were specifically for babies or young children, with only a few stall with things for young ladies
  • The stalls overloaded with brightly coloured wares were difficult for me to focus on to appreciate the individual pieces.
One of the advantages to being a shopper in this setting is being able to simultaneously appreciate the work of others while formulating ideas about what my own stall might look like. I think I have been reluctant to start my own stall because there is just so much out there, but after this weekend, I do feel there is a place for my fun and quirky accessories as my stuff does seem to be quite different to what's out there already. I think I need to focus less on worrying about where I might fit in and just trust that if I love the things I make, maybe other people will too!

I have renewed vigour and feel inspired all over again!


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